Category Archives: Photography

Black & White and White balancing

The subject for printsfor July’s meeting was “Black & White”, and just about everyone used the theme to show black and white prints (as opposed to pictures of black and white objects). There were a few clear favourites, but there were many good prints. Everyone seemed to have thought about what would look good in B&W rather than simply printing a good colour picture in monochrome.

Continue reading Black & White and White balancing


Wildlife Photography (and GDPR & ICE)

Trees We started with some good pictures of trees, and Bernard was pleased to see that Tony H has recovered his judgement in picking out good pictures (i.e. Bernard’s).

GDPR and ICE We discussed the impact of the General Data Protection Regulations coming into effect on 25 May and the effect this has on the way the group is run. A consequence is that the way that e-mails from the Group Leader are sent out has changed and until he is sure that teething problems have been overcome he is sending out a follow up e-mail the old way to check that the first e-mail has been received! The next edition of PreView has an article about GDPR by John C.

Because of GDPR our Group Leaders will no longer be holding ICE details (these are contact details for people to be contacted In Case of Emergency). This is unfortunate. However if you have a mobile phone you can include these details on it in a way that can be seen even when the phone is locked. Wendover U3A has a page explaining how this can be done – follow this link

Wildlife photography Most of the rest of the meeting was used for a presentation by Chris Roberts on wildlife photography, explaining how he got into this area and how he goes about it (e.g. hanging off the front of a narrowboat). Clearly his knowledge of nature and wildlife was a great asset in knowing where and how to look for subjects. There is no point in trying to photograph a butterfly in flight. He has also taken photographs at ‘Hide Days’ such as those run by Nature Photography Hides .  These cost around £100 or so and so if you are looking for suggestions of what people can give you for Christmas or a birthday . . .  Chris then showed a number of examples of his work, which raised quite a few comments and questions. Many thanks again to Chris.

Gadget Of the Day Bernard showed off his UV Filter which screws on to the front of his lens. He doesn’t use as a filter (it has virtually no impact as a filter on digital cameras) but to protect his lens. It costs perhaps £10 but if it gets scratched that is £10 lost rather than £100’s for a good lens.

Hoya 58mm UV(C) Digital HMC Screw-in Filter

Next two meetings The subject for prints at the May meeting is Flowers. Hopefully with good weather about to hit us there will actually be some flowers to photograph and nobody has to fall back on the way “flower” is used in cryptic crossword clues, meaning a river (i.e. something that flows). Our June outing will be to Benson Lock.


Abstract Photographs and Composition

Another interesting collection of prints today, on the theme of “Abstract”. They generated quite a lot of discussion, and it was fascinating to see how everyone had a different take on the theme.

In the admin. session we discussed whether the skills session in July should be a presentation on the use of Picassa, which has recently been made available for Windows 10. We agreed that, rather than having one person doing a presentation/demo of Picassa, we would have Picassa installed on the laptop and individuals would contribute by showing what they did with the software.

In “Talking About GoD”, we had two Gadgets of the Day:

  •  an eyepiece blanking plate for use on DSLRs. For Canon cameras, this is provided as part of the strap, and is a small rectangle of rubbery plastic. This is used by removing the eyepiece surround from the viewfinder and fitting the blanking plate to cover up the eyepiece. This should be done when the camera is used without the photographer peering through the viewfinder – e.g. when the camera is on a tripod: it prevents light getting in through the viewfinder and upsetting the auto exposure mechanism.
  •  a small stand-alone flashgun which is triggered wirelessly by the flash of the main flashgun on the camera. It can be used to provide fill-in light to prevent strong shadows or to give modelling highlights on hair, etc. (Most flashguns today have this capability of being triggered wirelessly, but the point about the gadget was that it was very small and could be rested on any surface.)

The Skills Session covered composition, and looked at some 8 different guidelines for helping us in composing better pictures. The information used in the presentation can be found in an article in the “More on Photography” page.

In the Photos-on-a-Memory-Stick session we had a special theme – taking a few old photographs from the area and comparing them with new photographs that we took, to see how things have (or have not) changed. This session resulted in a lot of interest and discussion – definitely something we should do again in the future.


People, Aperture, Exposure and ISO

At todays meeting members displayed another great crop of photographs on the subject of People. It was interesting to see a number of photographs taken on mobile phones and compact cameras, providing evidence again that you don’t have to be using heavy metal to take good shots.

The skills session was on the available exposure modes – Fully Auto, Programme, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual. We discussed what the modes meant, and when you might want to use them.

Notes relating to this skills session (and many other topics) can be found on our More about Photography page.


Photography Group’s annual competition

At its pre-Christmas meeting in addition to mince pies and other festive goodies the Photography group held its annual competition. We were pleased to welcome John Minter, who is on the regional committee of the Royal Photographic Society, back as judge again this year. John provided some very useful comments on what was good and what could be improved on the photographs, as well as insights into what judges are looking for. Continue reading Photography Group’s annual competition


Kop Hill Photography

Once again our U3A Photography Group, with the addition of a couple of friends, has raised over £1000 for local charities, we challenge any other Group to beat us, over £4000 in three years. How? We took over 1000 photographs during the Kop Hill Climb, at least 4 of every entrant and allowed Princes Risborough Rotary to sell them. We think we have a right to be proud!